The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has extended the deadline for a 3% cap on the quantity of trans fatty acids (TFA) in oils and fat from January 2021 to April this year, The Economic Times reported on 13 January.

However, the deadline to cut back trans fatty acid to 2% remained the same – 1 January 2022, The Economic Times wrote.

The revised regulation applies to edible refined oils, vanaspati (partially hydrogenated oils), margarine, bakery shortenings and other mediums of cooking such as vegetable fat spreads and mixed fat spreads.

“In view of representations received from the industry and to facilitate smooth transition from the industry to the new norms for trans fatty acids (TFAs), it is directed that the enforcement for the limit of 3% by weight shall commence on 1 April 2021,” the FSSAI said.

COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns had affected the edible oil industry’s ability to prepare for the reduction of trans fat, The Economic Times wrote.

The country’s food regulatory body had notified the amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Sales) Regulations on 29 December 2020 – more than a year after it had issued a draft consultation on the subject.

The move to reduce trans fat had followed a call by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the global elimination of trans fats by 2023, The Economic Times said.

Industry players had been made to take a pledge in 2018 to comply with the WHO’s call for action to reduce TFA by 3% by 2021, The Economic Times wrote, giving them three years to comply with the latest regulation.